Better for Wildlife
Bee friendly farming and food
What makes organic farming so vital for the protection of our wildlife? Life’s not easy for some of our most loved species. Our bees and other pollinators have lost much of their natural habitat in the past 60 years, including 98 per cent of wildflower meadows. In the UK alone, 75% of UK butterfly species have declined in the past decade and eight of our 25 bumblebee species are threatened, with two already extinct!
In the UK alone, around 31,000 tonnes of manufactured chemicals are used in farming each year to kill weeds, insects and other pests that attack crops and there is growing scientific evidence that certain harmful pesticides, especially neonicotinoid insecticides, play a key part in the declines in honeybees and other pollinators worldwide.
But it’s not all bad news.
Because of the complete absence of manufactured herbicides and the severely restricted use of pesticides, organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies.
Organic farmers are helping to look after our wildlife by managing and maintaining habitats, which is a vital part of a successful organic farm.
This helps organic farms support up to 50% more wildlife – that’s more of our great British bees, birds and butterflies for us all to enjoy!
So what makes organic farms different?
- Organic farmers work hard to maintain and look after areas such as banks, ponds and grassland, and habitat links, such as hedges and field margins.
- Hedgerows, important for hedgehogs and other small mammals, tend to be bigger and more diverse on organic farms than on non-organic farms.
- Organic farmers don’t cut their hedges between March and August to allow wildlife to thrive within them during the growing and breeding season.
Look for the logo. Organic farming protects and supports our wildlife.
"It is clear that bees living on farmland are chronically exposed to cocktails of agrochemicals, but we have a poor understanding of how this affects them - something we are studying at the moment. In the meantime, reducing bees’ exposure to pesticides should be a priority. The Soil Association are doing a fantastic job in raising awareness of these issues.”Dave Goulson Professor of Biology at Sussex University